Blinken: Hamas leader Sinwar the ‘one guy’ to blame if ceasefire plan rejected

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Blinken: Hamas leader Sinwar the ‘one guy’ to blame if ceasefire plan rejected

US Secretary of State Blinken says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had 'reaffirmed his commitment' to the proposal

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Yahya Sinwar
Yahya Sinwar

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Hamas and “one guy” hiding “ten storeys underground” will be to blame for any failure to back President Biden’s ceasefire plan.

Speaking on Tuesday, Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to the proposal when they held talks in Jerusalem the previous day.

But he also said Hamas’s response to news that the United Nations Security Council had also backed the plan was not conclusive, adding that that “what counts” is what is said by the Hamas leadership in Gaza, “and that’s what we don’t have”.

If the proposal did not proceed then it was “on them”, he said.

Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on June 16, 2016 (Wikipeida/ Source: Author U.S. Department of State from United States)

He said the onus was on “one guy” hiding “ten storeys underground in Gaza” to make the casting vote, referring to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

Netanyahu has not publicly endorsed what Biden outlined nor said whether it matches a similar Israeli proposal.

Some far-right Israeli ministers have already made clear they oppose it.

When the plan was announced 11 days ago Biden said it was an Israeli “roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages” which he then went on to outline.

The actual Israeli proposal is reportedly lengthier than the summary presented by Biden.

It has not been made public and it is unclear whether it varies from what the president conveyed.

The Israeli proposal was agreed upon by Israel’s three-man war cabinet and has not been disclosed to the wider government.

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